A Quick Update on the Ole’ Learning Project
A Lot of Learning & Research
Although I haven’t been as active on the old Cricut machine as I would have liked to have been lately with the move and all, I have been behind the scenes doing a bunch of Cricut learning mainly through Pinterest, the Internet, and an occasional TikTok video or two. There is still a lot that I have to learn, but I am taking it one step at a time. Unlike some projects I have picked up over the years and tried to complete faster than I started them, I am really trying to slow this one down, enjoy the process and use it as a life-long skill (or as long as the Cricut is around for). There’s a lot to learn still, and I am excited but pacing my learning for my own mental health and wellness, as well as balancing all of the plates I seem to have in the air. So, take a ride with me through the tales of the research I have been doing lately, and where I plan to go from here. As always, thanks for hopping along for the ride, I see you, and I appreciate you.
Curtis Bourassa suggested earlier on in my Cricut journey to learn how to make stickers. Although I don’t have the practice set in stone yet, I have learned a few things. First off, I didn’t realize that you had to print the stickers first, and then cut them. So, even though the Cricut machine can pretty much do anything, it cannot print. You need to have an inkjet printer for that part of it. Anyways, you get a hold of some printable sticker paper like the Avery brand here, and you find the designs that you want to print and then you print them on the sticker paper. From there, you upload those same designs to the Cricut Design Space, and you cut them out. Pretty basic. I mean, you could do it with a knife or scissors, but the Cricut machine can do it more cleanly. For better tips and tricks, you should take a wander at Sarah Maker’s site. Also, if you’re a visual learner thtis video from Kayla’s Cricut Creations hits the nail on the head for beginners.
However, if you are wanting to create some super cute sticker labels the Cricut machine can do that with the pen option. Just like creating vinyl projects, you create some amazing designs on the Cricut Design Space and then the pen draws them out. Then you set the machine to cut them out after. Pretty simple in writing, but it can be a bit tricky to figure out. If you want to learn more about how to use Cricut Pens, check out Daydream into Reality’s post. It goes into great detail about how to use the pens, fonts, and more!
Ever since I was a kid in elementary school learning how to screenprint, I always wanted to make shirts. I have an amazing friend that used to be my principal, and she started me on the road to teacher shirts. If y’all know Lisa Frei you know that she definitely puts the LEAD in leadership, and is quite inspiring to work under. Anyways, she always had a shirt for everything. Fri-YAY, Fake Friday, Pride, Kindness Day, and so many more! She got shirts whipped up for anything and everything and even got us all shirts on the last day of school to wear as a staff. It was a small gesture that often made a big difference with staff, students, and the community in which we worked. It often brought us together as a team.
Anyways, so a lady at my school makes shirts now using a machine similar to the Cricut but not quite the same. The process is very similar and has offered to show me the ropes. I am going to try it out myself first, and then when I get better at it, I’ll ask her to help me out with creating the more difficult designs. Curtis N this picture is especially for you, enjoy!
So how did I get back onto this you ask? Well besides making teacher-ish shirts, I also thought that I would help my brother out. One Sunday supper I offered to walk door to door in my neighbourhood handing out door knockers for his newly established roofing business (JL Roofing Sask), although joked to him that I didn’t look legit without some kind of branding. His wife (who also works closely helping him get the bookwork part of his business up and running) said that she had some on the way, but they were going to cost $25 a shirt! The teacher in me thought that there had to be a cheaper way to do it (I’m just poking fun at all those people who think teachers are cheap). Not only do I think I can do it less expensively, but I think their design is ‘simple’ enough for me to be able to create it on a shirt. Two or three vinyl colours if I create a shadow shouldn’t be too difficult. I mean, they don’t want it on a black shirt so I think that it will be even easier to figure it out.
So where have I got so far? Well, I have an old shirt ready to practice on, heat transfer Cricut (Everyday Iron On) vinyl in green, black and white (just in case I need that shadow), and an iron I borrowed from my sister-in-law as I don’t own anything that needs to be ironed. Could I have probably got the vinyl somewhere else a lot cheaper? Yup. But I thought that I better try it out with a local shop in case I bought the wrong product, or it was a hot mess and I decided that I never want to do it again. I have everything I need to make the shirts, I just need to get my tuchus in gear and get my act together. Also, if you ever need a reliable roofer, I know just the guys!
Again, as I mentioned earlier Catalina from Daydream into Reality has a pretty detailed post including a video if anyone is interested in getting started on making shirts. Another great post from Sarah and Jessica (BFFs if that matters to you) has the most aesthetically pleasing post about it too, here, as well as Ms. Sarah Maker that I talked about before.
Something that I eventually will need to get better at and look more into is creating SVG files, finding free ones, or purchasing the odd one for a specific project. So, if you have details on any of the above and want to share, feel free! I came across SVG & Me and will have to look more into it soon.
Yup! Another super thing I came across while spending copious amounts killing time on Pinterest, was Christmas ornaments and key chains. They can be uber-cute and seem to be pretty straightforward. I have said that before and have been burnt many times, but we will see. The first video I came across was from DIY Craft Tutorials—Acrylic Keychain Tutorial Cricut, and boy oh boy, they are cute! So, once I saw that I had to start looking to see if I could find Acrylic rounds and tassels. I always start locally and always have my hopes set real low as it’s Regina for one, and secondly, COVID. I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted locally, or things were all sold out at the time I started to look, so I found a few on Amazon.ca. I looked through a few options for tassels (one, two, three) and found a few that could work, and then a few options for the acrylic rounds too. I have most of the vinyl that I would need to create these unless I needed a specific colour and I can grab that at Michaels or Wal Mart here in town. Does anyone else have any secret places they find Cricut supplies here in Regina?
Gosh, squirrel, right? Okay, okay. I’ll get back on track here. So a few places I found good resources about how to make these little things are: Moms & Crafters, Vinyl Glitz, Amy Latta Creations, and many more! Also, I found a few free SVG paintbrush strokes to boot! I mean, I could probably make a lot of them on Canva (my favourite teaching tool ever lately—and if you’re an educator get it for free here if you qualify) and then save them as an SVG, but again, as I said earlier that’s future learning!
Although this hasn’t been a project or a hobby that has ended up under the basement stairs like many before it has, it has been a project that I have spent a considerable amount on so far and only see myself adding to it. Go figures, right? But in all honesty, it has been something that has been a great learning tool for me that I can use in many different ways.
But if I plan on making shirts for JL Roofing I probably am going to need an Easy Press to take the guesswork out of things. From exact heating temperatures, timers, and easy to hold the handle, and everything in between really takes a lot of the thinking off my plate. Because I am OCD in many ways, I don’t particularly love the red one, but also wouldn’t turn it down if someone gifted it to me either. However, if purchasing it for myself I would probably grab the mint, gold, or daybreak (white) one. I think this would be a smart purchase because I haven’t ironed anything since I lived at home, even though my mother irons everything including the sheets and pillowcases (weird right?). I think the only thing I was ever good at ironing was my hair prior to the CHI hair straightener being available for consumers to purchase. That was quite the skill of ironing hair with a clothes iron and a handcloth, but I am glad to have lost that one that’s for sure.
Thoughts, Comments & Feedback
As always, I love hearing your feedback. I have a few burning questions this week, and definitely need all of the help that I can get! Feel free to answer all, a few, one, or none of the guiding questions below, or leave your own comment. I think I am the most excited to learn about all of the Black Friday deals for the real Cricut lovers out there. Where are y’all at?
- Where are the potential Black Friday Cricut sales at here in Canada? Online? In Regina?
- Cricut Crazers do you have an Easy Press? If so, is it worth it? Do you love it? Best place to buy it?
- What are your favourite places to find Cricut materials in Regina, Saskatchewan besides at Michaels and Wal Mart?
- Best SVG tips and tricks, or places to find great resources?
- Do you have any tips and tricks to make keychains or stickers using the Cricut?
- How did you get started making clothing using the Cricut or similar machine?
- What is your favourite project to make using the Circuit or similar machine?